Wisdom of Nym: All of the shards in Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XI does not exist.

Everything's about proper literacy with you!

Look, the date of this article is a complete coincidence. Obviously, we’re going to the First in Final Fantasy XIV’s next expansion. We know that the game takes place on the Source, and we also know that the Thirteenth is the source of all our favorite Voidsent. But that still leaves us with 11 more shards that we don’t technically know about, except through the document that I have acquired thanks to my team of highly subversive Namazu cosplay thieves.

Technically it’s just one thief named Alice, but she’s really good at this.

Obviously, the rundown of all of the shards means that this is clearly meant to be the game’s direction for the next several years. So let’s go ahead and spoil everything by revealing all of it now! What do the other shards look like? Now the story can be told!

'Hey, Roy, let's fight!' 'THEM'S FIGHTIN WORDS!'

The Second

On this shard, basic social niceties never developed the way we know them, so everyone just punches each other all the time. There’s just a constant string of assaults and yelling and that’s how you level up. No one ever fights monsters, all of whom are really afraid to invade cities because those cities are filled with maniacs who just punch each other to get stronger. So it’s a lot like EVE Online.

All of the race names are the same as on the Source except that they all start with K now.

The Third

No airships in this one, as due to a poorly worded spell everyone has free access to the Infinite Portal of Guns. There are a whole lot of arguments over who should have free access to the Infinite Portal of Guns, but since everyone already has lots of guns they usually turn into firefights at the Infinite Portal of Guns. And then the wolves, who also have guns, show up because they love firefights at the Infinite Portal of Guns.

This world is both very unpleasant and exceedingly stupid. On the plus side, all crime is virtually nonexistent, due to the collapse of all governments and the lawless anarchy from the Infinite Portal of Guns.

Look out, Radioactive Man!

The Fourth

In this world it became a tradition to graft a job stone to people when they turn nine, thus ensuring that job changing is not possible and everyone is only able to do one thing well forever. Except for those who get Machinist job stones, who are able to do one thing not very well forever. It’s a boring existence.

Math here has long been hampered by the insistence on using a base-three numerical notation, to boot. A lot of this shard is hampered by bad decisions and it never really has much to offer; people who leave the shard never return, but not because they’re dead. It’s because they learned how boring this place was.

Also, this world is routinely threatened every couple of decades by some mediocre manboy who wants to blow everything up due to his daddy issues. So it’s a lot like Star Wars, except dumber.

The Fifth

This one is just called the “Vomiting Bird Shard.” I don’t want to know anything more about it.

The Sixth

We’ve actually already been here for the second round of the Omega fights. They weren’t just simulations! This is a great shard, it has twice as many jobs, 12 playable races with no gender locks (including Burmecians, robots, and Draenei for some damn reason), and ample housing for everyone. Of course, it’s also an unbalanced mess in which everyone just plays the same three jobs on Elezen at all times and the world has been destroyed more often than a Lego city with a group of seven-year-olds.

Pretty much everyone on the Sixth thinks it’s the best shard.

And sometimes people don't get behind me. That makes me sad.

The Seventh

Remember how the Allagans figured out that you could bind a Primal to generate power? They figured it out here too. That’s the good news. The bad news is… well, have you noticed how every single time the Allagans did that it became clear that we in Eorzea were stumbling upon it just at the end of its use-by date? Yeah, it’s a world where everyone has electricity but sometimes a rampaging beast just levels your block because of it.

Pretty much everyone on the Seventh thinks that it’s the best shard, despite the fact that all of its positive aspects are the same as the Sixth and its negative aspects are already well-noted.

The Eighth

To be honest, I wrote about this before, but after playing Summoner for like an hour I forgot about it. I remember that everyone here also thinks that this is the best shard, and I remember that they were wrong. Not much else, though.

The Ninth

So, good on the Ninth, they figured out how to hop shards pretty quickly. Unfortunately they’ve used that to pilfer stuff from all of the others, including their apocalyptic bad guys du jour, and they sort of forgot along the way to develop any of their own stuff. Everyone here thinks it’s the best shard, of course, but those with a wider picture will recognize that it got all of its stuff from other places and thus can’t really be the best from any reasonable perspective.

On the plus side, the Ninth also has an Infinite Portal of Guns but they have rightly funneled it straight into their version of Ozma. No guns for them!

Well... whoops.

The Tenth

Most of the land still hasn’t emerged from the sea in this shard, prompting a rich network of island cultures across the planet. The plus side is that this has provoked a shared identity and a unity as the islands fight against marauding whales and aquatic threats. The minus is that the realm-wide sport sensation is water polo played with live eels. Look, they had to do something stupid.

You do not want to smell the Hrothgar here. The Miqo’te, faced with a world of water, promptly buggered off into space.

The Eleventh

This one is actually eerily similar to the Source in weirdly backwards ways. Like, in this world Hrothgar and Au Ra don’t have tails, but Hyur do. The three nations of Eorzea are in Mor Dhona, Coerthas, and the giant canyon between the Black Shroud and Thanalan. The three tank jobs are Paladin, Warrior, and Samurai. You get the idea. It’s just subtly wrong in ways that add up over time.

Unless you show up during one of the storms that drops eyeballs instead of rain. Then it’s really weird immediately.

The Twelfth

Everyone in this world agreed that metaphysical nonsense is dumb and should be ignored. Whenever some aetherial being shows up the shard collectively ignores it until it gets fed up and leaves. This is also the preferred way of dealing with lalafell, which in this realm aren’t named because no one is willing to talk with them.

Down side? Well, mages have a really hard time getting invited to groups.

I hope you enjoyed this entirely accurate look at all of the adjacent shards in the game and I promise you this is all wholly accurate. You can tell me how accurate it is down in the comments, or send different compliments along to eliot@massivelyop.com.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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